What’s the best automation tool? That’s a valid question, right? Absolutely! You’ve asked it; I’ve asked it. The concern is not the question itself, but when the question is asked. Too often, this is the first question asked when starting an automation initiative, but is there a more appropriate time to ask it? Perhaps we should have more information before we can appropriately decide upon one tool or another. QA strategies and goals should be in place to help guide the tool choice. We also need to be aware of our tool’s audience and the environment in which it will be used. Let’s discuss the prerequisites to asking this question, work to decide when it’s time to ask it, give ourselves an appropriate context in which to answer it, and introduce the notion of “most appropriate in class”.